. President-elect to review list drawn up by Tinubu
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Following the private meeting held between President Goodluck Jonathan and President-elect Muhammadu Buhari Friday on the handover from the president’s administration to his incoming successor, THISDAY has learnt that Buhari’s transition committee shall comprise politicians and members of the organised private sector.
Buhari’s transition committee, which is expected to be announced tomorrow and is likely to commence work with the presidency after the governorship and state assembly elections, will focus on the smooth handover from the Jonathan
administration to his administration to ensure continuity in governance.
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who spoke to THISDAY on the issue, said he was aware that Buhari would rather the committee comprises a good mix of politicians and private sector members, and would likely review the list of members already drawn up by former Lagos State Governor, Senator Bola Tinubu.
“I can tell you with certainty that the president-elect’s transition committee will comprise politicians and private sector members.
“We are also aware that Tinubu has drawn up a list on who he would like to see on the committee, but Buhari is likely to review the list,” he said.
The APC chieftain further disclosed that when the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation was set up in December, Tinubu appointed all the directors on the team until it was changed.
“You would recall that we had the likes of Dele Alake, a Tinubu loyalist, appointed as Communications Director and what have you, but he was dropped for Garba Shehu a few weeks later,” he said.
Another source close to Buhari also informed THISDAY that those likely to make the committee include Vice-President-elect Yemi Osinbajo and former FCT Minister Nasir el-Rufai who is set to contest the Kaduna governorship election on Saturday.
On Tinubu’s expectations on the transition committee and key ministerial posts in Buhari’s cabinet, the source who is of northern origin, said people close to Buhari are aware that Tinubu has zeroed in on who should be appointed to the Finance, Petroleum and Justices Ministries, among others, but would be hugely disappointed.
“We are aware that he wants to recommend the Deputy Managing Director of Oando Plc, Mr. Mofe Boyo, as Minister of Petroleum Resources; his former Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Wale Edu, as Minister of Finance; and someone else for the Ministry of Justice.
“But it is not clear what the final decision will be, as Buhari, though reticent and tends to keep things close to his chest, has to find the right balance between meeting the expectations of Tinubu, the five governors who defected from the PDP to APC, and members of Buhari’s team who have been with him during his 12-year quest for the presidency,” he revealed.
The source also confirmed that since Buhari’s victory at the presidential election, his residence in Abuja has been besieged by hundreds of well wishers and those seeking political appointments.
“They have been dropping their CVs with him. I am sure he has probably received over a thousand of them. But that is the nature of Nigerian politics,” he said.
THISDAY also gathered that Buhari’s very close associates from the North, who have been with him for 12 years, have cautioned him against yielding too much to Tinubu’s demands, even though the latter was the prime mover behind the merger talks that led to the emergence of a virile opposition in the form of APC.
Their argument is that Buhari has already conceded the vice-presidential slot to Tinubu, and so the former Lagos governor should make his demands reasonable.
It was learnt that if the realignment of northern forces behind Buhari are not handled with tact, cracks are likely to emerge in the APC sooner rather than later.
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